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Cathy Yang began working at OrACORe in the summer of 2022 after graduating from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. During her time at OrACORe, Cathy spent time between clinical and modeling projects BriCC, OAPol, INFORM, and FraPol. Outside of work Cathy can be found on the squash courts and playing chess. This exit interview provides insight into Cathy’s time at OrACORe as she prepares for a new adventure in medicine.

Cathy Yang (front and center) enjoying an OrACORe winter ice skating outing.

How have your roles and responsibilities changed in going from a first-year research assistant (RA) to a second-year RA?

OrACORe/PIVOT’s motto of “see one, do one, teach one” is clearly evident in the transition from first year to second year RA. As a first year, much of my time was devoted to learning about the various aspects of each of my assigned projects. This included performing literature reviews, learning how to run the OAPol model, performing MSK tests, and immersing myself in IRB protocols. Eventually, I transitioned into the “do-phase”, where I assisted on runs for modeling projects, performed study visits, and submitted my own IRB amendments. Finally, as a second-year RA, using my experiences as a first-year RA, I focused more on teaching the new RAs and coordinating projects. This included holding weekly check-ins with the first-year RAs, leading both working groups and investigator calls, and ensuring that all the administrative aspects of each project were up to date.

Cathy Yang visiting the San Diego Zoo after presenting at ACR.

What are your career goals and how have they been affected by your experience at OrACORe/PIVOT?

My goal to become a physician has been reaffirmed by my time at OrACORe/PIVOT. From engaging with patients during study visits to working with physicians and performing clinical research, I know medicine is the field for me. I have been further inspired by my time at OrACORe/PIVOT to continue to engage with research and health policy long after my time here as a physician.

Cathy Yang (first bicyclist) and the RAs on a biking adventure during a trip to Cape Cod.

Where do you see yourself in ten years (City, hobby, job?)

In ten years, I see myself as a practicing physician in an urban/suburban setting (maybe Boston). I don’t know what specific specialty I want to pursue just yet, but I do know that I want to continue to split my time between patient care and research. Outside of work, OrACORe/PIVOT has taught me the importance of protecting my knee health, so I hope to stay active by playing squash, tennis, or pickleball!

What will you miss most about OrACORe/PIVOT? Social aspects? Research?

I know I will definitely miss the people. The faculty here are amazing mentors who have taught me so much about clinical research and supported me on my journey of pursuing medicine. In addition, the team of RAs is like no other and I will miss working with them!

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